Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh went on the In the Trenches podcast this week to breakdown what he saw from his team during spring football.
After winning the Joe Moore award last season, there are a lot of question marks surrounding the offensive line who loses some talent from last year’s squad.
One new piece coming in 2022 that is exciting the team and the fans is grad transfer Olu Oluwatimi. Oluwatimi, who was a Remington finalist last year, comes from Virginia and his teammates and coaches have only said positive things about him thus far.
“There was never any ‘I was a Remington finalist, I’m the man, look at me’,” Harbaugh said. “He was always about his business. Very mature guy. Fit in great with the group, one of the guys who proved himself. He already carries a lot of weight, and somebody that, when he talks now, and the more he talks the better. He’s a very squared away guy, and a great leader and a very talented player.”
Oluwatimi hasn’t been the only player on the offensive line who’s caught Harbaugh’s eye.
“Ryan Hayes at left tackle, Trevor Keegan at left guard, Zak Zinter at right guard, Olu at center and the guy who’s emerged the most is Trente Jones at right tackle, along with Karsen Barnhardt,” Harbaugh said. “That’s your top six right now.”
The strength and athletic ability of Jones have been the two keys to his game this spring that have allowed him to blossom.
“He’s always been one of the best athletes in the room,” Harbaugh said. “He’s improved his strength, his knowledge of the offense, toughness and being able to be in there every down. He’s a very gifted guy, athletically, strength has progressed. I’ve always liked watching him. Whenever I put on 53, his number, I like watching him. So that’s continued, but he’s much stronger and more savvy now.”
Another big part of the line is their coach, Sherrone Moore, who has a little bit of a different role this year as he is also the co-offensive coordinator.
“Really good,” Harbaugh said in regards to how Moore has adjusted to this new role. “This is a veteran group, it was good last year and has a chance to be even better this year. That’s certainly the goal. But also, some really good young players are developing. Raheem Anderson, Reece Atteberry, Gio El-Hadi has shown some really good things. Jeff Persi, too, kinda is that breaking through the ceiling kinda guy. I think two really good incoming freshman are Alessandro Lorenzetti and I’m really excited about Andrew Gentry. Talk about physical presence. The veteran groups continue to progress and so are the young guys.”
Replacing lost talent from the Joe Moore winning group from a year ago won’t be easy, but it sounds like the Michigan offensive line is still in good shape.